Today’s post is part of a multipart series on Ecclesiastical Autoimmune Syndrome.
Click here for last week’s post.
Bishops Who Wannabe (Bishops)
By Ken Howard
Back when I was a Master of Divinity student at Virginia Theological Seminary, all ordination-bound seminarians were required to do two years of field work in one of the many and varied Episcopal congregations in the Washington, DC area. I did mine at St. Mark’s Church on Capitol Hill. This assignment was a blessing to me in so many ways. Among the greater of those blessings was my discovery that it was the home parish of an author and teacher I greatly respected, Verna Dozier, and perhaps the greatest blessing of all was when she consented to serve on my lay advisory committee, and eventually became a trusted mentor and a great source of hard earned wisdom.
The Sunday before I was scheduled to be ordained to the diaconate, Verna took me aside and proceeded to exact from me a solemn promise.
“Ken,” she said, “I know that you do not have a burning desire to dress in purple and wear the funny hat. But I want you to promise me that if you are ever invited to nominated to be a bishop, you will take part in the selection process.”
Of course, I asked her, “Why?”
Her answer startled me with its frankness: “Because one of the biggest problems with the Church is too many of its bishops want to be bishop.” [Read more…]